23 August 2015

Injured Marbled sea snake at Chek Jawa

I'm so glad to be back with the Naked Hermit Crabs for our monthly free guided walks at Chek Jawa boardwalk for families. I've missed it for 2 months! I love watching the excitement of kids on their first trip to Pulau Ubin!
We saw lots of the usual interesting wildlife. Sadly, also an injured Marbled sea snake.


We are glad 60 people turned up despite the haze in the morning. Although 120 people did sign up. One of the drawbacks of a free tour is that many people sign up but don't turn up. Over the years, we have adjusted to this behaviour. Although I still don't  understand how so many people can sign up and not turn up, even if they realise by doing so they deprive others of a place.
We had a lot of guides today because of the low vistor turn out so Ley Kun (in blue in the background) could take photos of the guides at work. Here's Ivan hard at work.
Ian and his son Ethan also led a group around the trails and boardwalk.
Becky is super energetic and after doing an awesome first walk for the Crabs, headed off to do more nature work in the afternoon!
There's lots to see and learn at Chek Jawa even before we get to the sea shore.
Here's Sumita and Timothy sharing about the curious creatures in the back mangroves.
Finally, we get to have a look at the architect of the 'volcanos' in the back mangroves. Ivan explains more at the big photo of the mud lobster.
"Why do you think mangrove trees have such odd roots?" Sumita gets the kids to think about the strange roots of mangrove trees.
There are lots of fiddler crabs on the shore! Also other crabs, mudskippers, strange plants and lots of birds.
At the end of the walk, we have our usual fun drawing session for the kids (and young-at-heart visitors) to share what they love about Chek Jawa.
Such lovely drawings!
Thank you for sharing these delightful memories with us.
How nice to see kids enjoying some traditional toys created simply out of a pair of rubber seed shells. He later told me how he would go home and try to make it into a water wheel. How creative!
The mama wild boar that usually hangs around the entrance is still there. She looks like she just had a mud bath.
Her babies are all much bigger now and no longer have their watermelon stripes.
Sean spotted an injured Marbled sea snake at the Coastal Boardwalk.
injured Marbled sea snake (Aipysurus eydouxii)
After a check with the experts at the Herpetological Society of Singapore (HSS), we are advised to rescue the snake. Sean Yap bravely does the job with a stick and contributions of various bags by visitors. Thank you! While the visitors looked on from the boardwalk.
This young man was very taken by Sean's snake rescue and drew him doing it. In fact, many of the kids drew the snake in their memories of the trip.
Serin of the HSS rushed down to have a look at the snake. The kids asked lots of good questions. Serin pointed out how it had a deep gash that had punctured its lung and heart. He suspects the snake was caught by a raptor, (perhaps a White-bellied fish eagle? We saw a lot of them on our trip), and that it somehow escaped the talon clutches and fell into the seagrass meadows where we saw it.
Since the injuries are bad and the snake was not going to survive, we decided to rush it to Ubin NParks office and put it in the fridge where it will go to sleep painlessly. Sean came separately so he had to cycle back behind our van! By the time we got to the office, the snake was already motionless.
Later on, Serin together with Ing Sind properly examined the snake. The snake will then be given to the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. So at least the snake did not die in vain and will contribute to science and our understanding of the wildlife around us.
Photo by Sumita Thiagarajan on facebook.
It was rather hazy in the morning but it got better later on, and we had cool dry weather. The seawater looks alright. If it is the colour of tea, then there is probably a plankton bloom going on.
The Punai Hut at Chek Jawa is being fixed up so it's closed for a while.
Part of the Coastal Boardwalk is also being fixed so we can't enter by the path near the Information Kiosk. But we could still walk along part of the Coastal Boardwalk from the entrance near the sea shore. These works are expected to go on until Oct 2015.
The Naked Hermit Crabs conduct this free guided walk specially for families every month. During school holidays, we also conduct walks at Pasir Ris mangrove boardwalk. Check out the Naked Hermit Crab blog for the latest updates.

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